November 8, 2006

Shootout win sends Grove City to ECAC semis

SWARTHMORE, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's soccer team earned a trip to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Southern Championship Tournament semifinals by earning a 1-1 double-overtime shootout victory over top-seeded Swarthmore in a quarterfinal match Wednesday night. Grove City, the No. 8 seed in the eight-team bracket, won the shootout 3-1.

Grove City will now play either No. 4 Wesley or No. 5 Gettysburg in Saturday's semifinals. Inclement weather forced the Wesley-Gettysburg quarterfinal match to be moved to Thursday afternoon. Second-seeded Carnegie Mellon will host Saturday's semifinals as the top remaining seed. CMU defeated Presidents' Athletic Conference champion Westminster, 3-0, Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

In the shootout, Grove City scored on all three attempts. Senior forward Bob McNees (Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk) gave Grove City a 1-0 lead in the shootout after the Garnet (12-5-2) were rebuked by junior goalkeeper Michael Manahan (State College, Pa./State College).

Swarthmore tied the match in the second round but the Wolverines reclaimed a 2-1 lead as sophomore Tyler Ferrier (Newtown Square, Pa./Delaware County Christian) scored. Following a Swarthmore miss, senior defender Brendan McCommas (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) scored Grove City's third shootout goal. A second straight Swarthmore miss sealed the win for Grove City (11-6-2).

Swarthmore took a 1-0 lead at 4:45 as Stu Leon scored from point-blank range. Yoi Tibbetts supplied the assist. However, the Wolverines rebounded later in the first half as Ferrier scored the equalizer at 26:19. Senior Jonathan Breese (Mercer, Pa./Mercer) assisted the goal.

Neither team broke the tie in the second half. Swarthmore out-shot Grove City in the second half, 11-5, and 19-11 for the match. Manahan stopped three shots for the Wolverines.

It is the second straight season that Grove City has eliminated the top seed from the ECAC tournament. In the 2005 semifinals, Grove City advanced past McDaniel via shootout, 1-1. The Wolverines are undefeated in their last 13 overtime matches (5-0-8) dating back to Nov. 6, 2003.

Wednesday night's match is officially considered a draw for both teams.

Box Score

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